May 27, 2004

Matt Pond PA to Bring Cello-Rock to IL

By Randy J. Klodz

Although the light-rock, cello-driven sound of Matt Pond PA is reached with a hit-or-miss reaction to Chicago crowds, the band will be bringing its new cast and new album to Chicago for a June 10 performance at Martyrs’.

Aside from the band’s namesake, guitarist/vocalist Matt Pond is currently joined in his band by guitarist Brian Pearl, bassist Will Levatino, drummer Dan Crowell and cellist Eve Miller.

Though the band is called Matt Pond PA, with the “PA” standing for Pennsylvania, the bands origin, Pond spends much of his time each day explaining to people that his band is in no way a solo effort.

“I do write the songs, but without people like Eve [Miller] or Brian [Pearl], I wouldn’t be able to do it,” said Matt Pond. “It’s comforting to know that there are people out there like that. It’s definitely a group thing; I believe in the people that do this with me. What’s exciting about [the band’s newest cast], while the name of the band might be stupid, they don’t feel cheated.” Pond said that he had been in bands prior where he would write songs, but he didn’t have any control over what was happening. He is now comfortable with his current situation.

And with a last name of Pond, one could guess that Pond’s songs may involve nature. In fact, the cover art for Matt Pond PA’s, most recent release, “Emblems,” which hit stores May 18, is of a white deer with a mountainous background. Even the CD itself has an image of what appears to be a maple leaf printed onto it.

On “Lily Two,” Pond’s lyrics: “Who knows right / Lily you don’t have to when you see the moon / You trust its light / The crickets sing loud / Lily you can hear it in their voices how you’ve made them proud,” with light guitar in the background.

“Butcher”--not to be confused with fellow cello-rockers Cursive’s “Butcher the Song”--gives listeners the best taste of the band’s cello-driven sound. Not only is the use of a cello a rarity among rock or pop acts, Matt Pond’s PA’s cellist Eve Miller is also the only female member of the band. Pond and the band’s other members must protect Miller from some disorderly fans during the band’s performances.

For example, Matt Pond PA played a show in Valdosta, Ga., and a male fan came up to Miller and went to touch her while the band was playing, “and it’s too funny,” Pond said, “four guys jumping up--we’re not the biggest people--but we just jumped up about to kill this person. It’s kind of funny, you don’t realize that you are pretty protective of something like that. We have to fray a lot of dudes trying to be all over her.”

Martyrs’ is at 3855 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets for this 21+ show are listed for $10 each in advance or $12 each the day of the show, with a show start time slated for 8 p.m. Keane and Aveo are also scheduled to perform. For more information on Matt Pond PA log on to www.mattpondpa.com.
Matt Pond PA Photo: Emily Wilson